At Thursday night’s school board meeting, the district’s 2017 Legislative Priorities were reviewed and I am pleased to say that the misuse of standardized testing was at the top of the list.
However, a seemingly small piece of information was presented that could have huge ramifications for public schools. One school board member informed us that in speaking with our local legislators on this matter, she learned that we would gain more traction with the Opt Out movement if we started calling it “Parent Choice”.
That’s right. They’ll listen to us, but only if we put our arguments in language that allows them to still feel like they are being outwardly loyal to their principles. They won’t change the laws based on the outcries of thousands of students and parents. They won’t change the laws based on the expert opinions of educators. They won’t change the laws even though many of them send their children to private schools to avoid the harmful effects of their own legislative actions. In the no-nonsense world of accountability that they have created, they are asking to be coddled with doublespeak that will allow them to sleep at night.
While I understand that sometimes we have to “play the game”, Parent Choice sounds an awful lot like School Choice. They are slowly but surely trying to change the narrative surrounding public schools (now unaffectionately known as “government” schools) and get us to come along for the ride.